These holidays, head to Sovereign Hill for a big day out and put the kids to work! Kate and her little team headed to Sovereign Hill this weekend to enjoy Sovereign Hill’s latest offerings and explored the working life of the goldfields, checked out the latest playground onsite and the latest multi sensory AURA show. Thanks for the fab review and pics Kate. xo Catherine
Sovereign Hill comes alive these Easter holidays (Saturday 6th April - Monday 22nd April) as visitors explore the working life of the goldfields. Relive history and discover lost trades with a range of exclusive workshops and FREE events that will transport you back to the busy goldfields of Ballarat.
As several of the Lost Trade Workshops had height or age restrictions that prevented our four year old poppets from participating, we also took part in many activities from Sovereign Hill’s extensive daily program - including the all new sound and light evening show AURA. Here are our highlights.
LOST TRADE WORKSHOPS
Try Your Hand
Learn traditional ‘hands-on’ skills such as rag rug making and cross-stitching inside the Horse Bazaar. And the best part? When you’re finished you get to take your handiwork home!
Small Animal Grooming
Little ones will love meeting Sovereign Hill’s adorable miniature donkeys, horses and twin baby goats. The poppets loved helping to groom and feed the resident goats on our visit as well as making coconut feeding toys for them to play with.
Make Your Own Rope
Try making rope using traditional methods. Then see if you can turn your rope into quoits and challenge the local champions to a game.
Beauty & The Beast
Held in the beautiful Victoria Theatre this hilarious performance of one of the best-loved fairy tales of all time is riotous fun for the whole family. We all adored this show which has lots of silliness, a good dose of slapstick and even the odd pirate and witch. Be sure to arrive at the theatre at least 10 minutes before the commencement of the show to secure a seat.
Pop into William Hewett’s Yarrowee Soap and Candle Works at the top of Main Street where little ones can make a colourful dipped candle to take home. The poppets were fascinated by the process of dipping their candles only four times in three pots of coloured wax to create FIVE different colours. They will make perfect Easter gifts for the grandparents in the UK.
Climb aboard the horse drawn coach for a ride around the property. This activity is an additional cost and we recommended arriving early to purchase tickets as there can be a wait during busier times.
Sweet Making Demonstration
No trip to Sovereign Hill is complete without a visit to Brown’s Confectionery. It was fantastic watching the confectioners use original equipment and processes to make their famous boiled lollies. However, the real highlight was getting to taste the freshly made raspberry drops, yum!
Red Coat Soldiers
Parading through Main Street at 1.30pm every day, the Red Coat Soldiers are always a crowd favourite. Lead by the drummer beating his drum, the soldiers march into the centre of town and show visitors how soldiers in the 1850s practiced firing their rifles. Please note that although the Corporal will tell the audience members to put their fingers in their ears, the noise is still very loud and may be unsuitable for small children or babies.
Opening in October 2018, this new, interactive adventure land is full of unique equipment, including a gold rush-themed two storey-high sailing ship, jetty and row boat. The play space also includes a full-size coach with carved horses, a poppet head with a large slide, a rock-climbing wall and a mining tunnel with an ore truck. The poppets absolutely loved climbing, sliding and exploring this playground - it really is such a perfect addition to Sovereign Hill.
AURA - SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW
Running nightly, AURA is Sovereign Hill’s new sound and light show that takes visitors on a spectacular journey though time and space to experience the story of gold and its power to change everything.
Set over 64 acres, this new multi-million dollar show takes over from its predecessor, Blood on the Southern Cross - which had been running for over 20 years!.
The 90 minute show begins with a 3D movie screening in a small theatre in the basement of the main entrance building where we explore space and literally feel the vibrations of stars exploding in front of our eyes. From this moment, the stage is set for a truly magnificent evening. When the screening ends, we board vehicles that take us deep into the Sovereign Hill property and arrive at a covered outdoor viewing platform to delve into the Dreamtime.
The Wadawurrung creation story unfolds before us told through state-of-the-art projections on a magnificent lake, featuring stunning images of birds, land and flowers that look so lifelike the poppets ask if the eagle will fly over their heads.
Our last location is an adjacent indoor theatre where the screen opens to reveal a detailed historical set making us feel right in the centre of the action. We watch as the land is transformed by the gold rush, gunfights and protests erupt under the night sky and the chaos of the Eureka Rebillion comes to life as we witness creation and discovery of the world’s most precious metal.
Conceived by Andrew Walsh AM and his Accolade Event Management team, who delivered events that include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the first four years of White Night, together with Sovereign Hill’s own historical experts, AURA was two years in the making and is a tribute to the creativity of teams involved. Highly recommended for the whole family.
A few quick tips before you go:
Several of the Lost Trade Workshops need to be booked in advance. Visit the Sovereign Hill website to book online prior to your visit.
Pre-booking for AURA are essential.
Parental discretion is required for AURA as the show includes loud sound effects and dramatic pyrotechnics.
The weather in Ballarat tends to be a bit cooler than Melbourne so wear and pack a few different layers (especially if attending the night show) + gumboots if it’s wet. Flat shoes are also recommended.
There are several restaurants and eateries onsite. We always enjoy the - award winning - hot pies and sausage rolls from the Hope Bakery. Pre-show dinner packages are also available before AURA (bookings essential).
Take advantage of the two day visit offer for the price of a single day’s entry. Sovereign Hill and Ballarat have excellent accommodation options suitable for families.
Busy City Kids were invited to experience Sovereign Hill’s There’s work to be done School Holiday program for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.